EsSalud strike could escalate

- Wednesday, October 22, 2003

EsSalud strike could escalate

Current strike action by workers at Peru's public health agency EsSalud will escalate unless drastic measures are taken to reverse the agency's deteriorating financial condition, local daily El Comercio quoted EsSalud's former board member Francisco Garcia Calderon as saying.

According to Garcia, the current strike action among workers has hastened the need for drastic changes to EsSalud's management to ensure an administrative structure separate from political influence.

The current unrest has been motivated by the deteriorating evolution of the country's social security system over the last few years, Garcia said, adding that the present strike could escalate to incorporate demonstrations against local healthcare insurers.

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EsSalud is preparing to trim its management structure as part of the agency's latest cost-cutting plans, the agency's executive president Jose Luis Chirinos told local daily Expreso last week.

According to Chirinos, proposed reforms to the agency's administrative system will result in a saving of 85mn soles (US$24.4mn) through the elimination of 450 managerial posts by end-October.

The first phase of the staff cuts began some weeks ago when 166 employees left their posts at the agency's HQ, he added.

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